60b733ff1a4f3e2711db91ba41318b20af2ea8a0_fotolia_81318439_subscription_monthly_mWhile there are health conditions we can’t avoid due to genetics or random mutations, there are many health conditions we can fight to keep at bay.

Certain conditions are brought on by environmental factors or habits we can change. Studies have shown that heart disease for example, can be prevented by making changes to a person’s lifestyle. One important factor in particular, plays a key role in the development of cardiovascular illness.

Studies show that too much sodium can increase blood volume and pressure within the arteries and make your heart work harder. Eating processed foods and dining out contribute almost three-quarters of the average American’s total sodium intake.

Restaurants tend to go heavy on the salt, because it’s one of the world’s cheapest and most flavorful ingredients, yet there are plenty of ways to make food flavorful without adding sodium.

Here are some delicious ways you can create a dish packed with flavor and light on salt:

1) Add Some Zest

Adding citrus to your meal can add a punch of flavor, and won’t contribute to your risk of heart disease. Instead of adding salt to your protein try adding orange or lemon zest or juice to your marinade. Add orange or grape fruit sections to your salad instead of high sodium dressing or salted nuts. You’ll enjoy just as much flavor without overdoing the sodium.

2) Spice it Up

Christopher Columbus set out on the high seas to bring back – among other things – no less than the spices we take for granted today. Why sprinkle that plain white stuff on your meal when you could be tasting oregano, black pepper, red chili flakes, cinnamon, cloves and more. These delicious spices add a spike of flavor to any meal. Add it to your sauces, marinades and dressings for increased flavor.

3) Get Fresh
Often swapping out processed foods for the fresh stuff means increasing cost, but when it comes to your health isn’t the added value worth it? Fresh herbs are not only flavorful and aromatic, but also low calorie, helping you decrease your risk of heart disease and your waistline. Fresh herbs like rosemary, thyme, chives and basil may cost more than salt, but they’re also better for you. To reduce cost, try growing your own herb garden. Herbs can be easy to grow, thriving both indoors and outdoors.

4) Try a New Blend

In many cases poor dietary choices come from convenience. We live hectic lifestyles, so we eat what’s quick, easy and accessible instead of what might be better for us. If convenience is important to you and your family, try swapping out the salt in your salt shaker with a spice blend. You can try different blends to find your favorites. Remember different spices go better with different types of food. For example, what works for flavoring fish might not be best for seasoning your steak.

High sodium may not be an issue for you now, but you don’t want it to become one. Making these simple changes to the way you eat your favorite foods could have a large impact on your health.

For more nutritional information and helpful advice visit daytondandesmedical.com or make an appointment with one of our nutritionists today.

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The articles on this website are not to be construed as medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.